Breakdown: What is a stationary front?

What is a stationary front?

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - In this breakdown I am going to be talking about stationary fronts, because it is what has been causing our wet weather pattern for the last few days.

The same stationary front that has given us rain in the Mid-South has also been responsible for the significant amount of rain in parts of Texas. They have been dealing with flooding and there has been a fatality, too.

The image above is a stationary front and it represents two different air masses. The red semi circles are representing warm air or a warm front and the blue triangles are that of a cold front representing cooler not necessarily cold air.

Usually one of the air masses overtakes the other. For example, a cold front usually pushes through and the result is cooler air in comparison to the air that was in place before. A warm front can also do the same thing. If a warm front moves through your area, the result is usually warmer weather than what you had before it arrived.

In the case of a stationary front, neither the warm or cold air is strong enough to take over the other or replace the other. The result is a front that stays stationary until one can dominate the other or it dissipates altogether.

The type of weather that is typically found with that of a stationary front is usually what we have had this weekend. Clouds, long periods of rain, and sometimes lines of thunderstorms.

Stationary fronts will either dissipate after a few days or they may change into a warm front or a cold front based on how the conditions above evolve.

Sagay Galindo


WMC Action News 5

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